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MANILA, Dec 10 (Mabuhay) — The Duterte administration’s massive campaign against illegal drugs continues to gain success after more than 400 barangays have been cleared of illegal drugs in the last two months.

Based on the latest Real Numbers data released by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday, the number of barangays declared drug-free as of October 31 reached 23,270 or 412 higher compared to the 22,858 recorded as of August 31 this year.

A total of 12,125 barangays have yet to be cleared of illegal drugs.

PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon earlier said before declaring that a barangay is free from illegal drug activities, the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) must validate the non-availability of drug supply, the absence of drug transit activity, clandestine drug laboratory and chemical warehouse, marijuana cultivation site, drug den, drug pushers and users in the area.

He said the activation of Barangay Drug Abuse Councils (BADACs) is also very crucial in the success of the implementation of the campaign.

In partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), PDEA conducted training-orientation to local government units (LGUs) all over the country on measures and indicators on declaring drug-cleared barangays.

A total of 13,821 high-value targets (HVTs) across the country were arrested since the Duterte administration launched its massive campaign against illegal drugs on July 1, 2016.

The figure includes 6,061 HVTs arrested from high impact operations, 3,785 target-listed suspects, 1,422 drug den maintainers, 795 drug group leaders/members, 509 government employees, 393 elected officials, 349 foreigners, 284 included on wanted lists, 124 uniformed personnel, 75 armed group members and 24 prominent personalities.

Authorities also arrested 315,635 individuals involved in illegal drugs during the period.

The consolidated reports as of October 31 also showed 6,215 drug suspects have died during 218,665 anti-illegal drug operations.

From July 2016 to October 2021, authorities also arrested 4,033 minors. This can be broken down into 2,377 pushers; 963 possessors; 434 users; 229 visitors of drug den; nine drug den maintainers; 16 drug den employees, two cultivators, one clan lab employee, and two runners.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the rescued minors, after court proceedings, will be turned over to the Bahay Pag-asa centers of LGUs within eight hours of police custody, before turning them over to the DSWD.

Since they are minors, the DSWD said they would not be put behind bars together with hardened criminals. (MNS)

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